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Surrogate gives birth to rare triplets at Akron General hospital

The identical triplet girls, who live in Ann Arbor with their dads, were born September 9.

AKRON, Ohio — What's better than one baby? How about three? 

On Tuesday, the Cleveland Clinic spotlighted the rare birth of three identical triplet girls on its Facebook page. 

 Parker, Robin and Sylvie have been providing triple the cuddles, triple the love (and triple the diapers!) for new dads Eric Portenga and Kevin O’Neill since their birth on September 9. 

Their surrogate, Maureen, gave birth to the rare set of triplets at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. 

It’s a rare event, there were approximately 3,100 triplet births in 2019, says Stephen Bacak, DO, a maternal fetal medicine specialist, who delivered the triplets.

The girls made their debut at 35 weeks gestation via cesarean birth. After an 18-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the girls made the road trip back to Ann Arbor Michigan to begin their lives.

It’s a rare event, there were approximately 3,100 triplet births in 2019, says Stephen Bacak, DO, a maternal fetal medicine specialist, who delivered the triplets.

But how did this rare birth come to be? Well, Eric and Kevin meet Maureen, a school teacher, through a mutual friend. 

With a 5-year-old son of her own, Maureen and her husband Jeremiah had decided not to have any more children. Despite their decision, Maureen loved being pregnant and had been privately considering being a surrogate for another couple. 

“Children are my heart and my passion,” says Maureen, who the triplets will know as Auntie Mo. “When I realized maybe I could help another family, I decided surrogacy was a route I'd be interested in taking.” 

In the summer of 2020, the trio meet for the first time to discuss the details and everything just clicked. 

The eggs would be harvested from a donor, fertilized by Kevin or Eric and implanted into Maureen by in vitro fertilization (IVF).  In many cases, IVF can take several attempts before pregnancy occurs, but that wasn't the case for Maureen who got pregnant on the very first try. 

Despite living in Michigan, Kevin and Eric have plans to make sure Maureen, who the triplets will know as Auntie Mo, stays involved in their lives. 

Click here, to read more of their story. 

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*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous, unrelated report. 

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